Graphic courtesy of TheFix.com
Energy Efficiency, Home Building trends, House Design, Simply Sustainable

Add a little inspiration to your spring

It’s feeling like spring really has sprung, and it seems like a good idea to share some of the inspirational ideas we’ve been storing away over the winter. Fun and clever stuff that will get the cogs in your brain whirring!

Making your old wood ‘pallet-able’

How to upcycle pallets into “rustic-industrial” stuff for your home

Pallet safety infographicThis article from theFix.com was recently shared on Treehugger.

It helps to determine which pallets are safe to use, and which are not, and also contains a fun and informative infographic on how to prepare pallets for whatever project you might have in mind.

Also from theFix.com is Home Improvement Projects You Can Do with Reclaimed Wood, which gets the same cool infographic treatment, making for a quick and lively review of some neat design options.

 


Passive house on wheels anyone?

Cargo van conversionDigital nomad’s ultra-minimalist van conversion includes hidden bike rack (Video)

We’ve all seen our fill of tiny home projects, including many models designed for hitting the road. This sleek cargo van conversion is a really cool addition to the options available to anyone wanting to live on the road.


Just plain cool

10 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Furniture (Apartment Therapy)
All-in-one cube is ‘room within a room’ that hides bed, bike, closet & office (Treehugger)
Genius Trash to Treasure Crafts (Good Housekeeping)

Happy Spring!

Healthy Brain & Body Show
Healthy Living

Ottawa set to host The Healthy Brain and Body Show

The Healthy Brain and Body Show is coming to the EY Centre in Ottawa on April 22 – 23, 2017. The show will focus on total health, allowing participants to discover innovative products and services. The hope is that anyone who attends will leave the show feeling inspired!

The show will present expert speakers on nutrition, energy, wellness and related topics;  100+ booths; demos; samples; and interactive exhibits. Other highlights include:

  • The Functional Training Academy will be holding TRX demos every 30 minutes at the show! TRX Training draws on leading-edge research and best practices from the military, pro sports, and academic institutions. It is a great workout and a whole lot of fun. Drop by and try it for free!
  • Demos running the gamut from massage to makeovers – plan to leave the show feeling relaxed and rejuvenated!
  • A beautifully lit, quiet meditation area run by Simply Meditation, a not-for-profit in Ottawa who have a simple mission: to make meditation accessible to anyone, anywhere.
  • Nutritious and delicious food tastings.
  • Escape Manor will be setting up a cage in the show! You must work together as a team and use your brains and instincts to figure out a way to escape. Put your skills to the test with this super fun activity as you take a break from shopping. The cage is only $5!

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted at the door in support of H.E.L.P, an organization which helps military and first responders affected by PTSD.

The most important relationship in our lives is the one we have with ourselves. My vision for The Healthy Brain and Body Show is to create a place where people can come together and learn how their mental, emotional and physical health are intimately interconnected and affect each other profoundly.
Sarah Roberts – Co Founder of The Show

We’ll be attending the show and look forward to seeing you there!

Click for full details of The Healthy Brain and Body Show.

Ottawa home builder EkoBuilt at the Ottawa Home & Garden Show 2017
EkoModel News, Home Building trends

Your questions answered!

The Ottawa Home & Garden Show last weekend was a tremendous experience. As ever, we enjoyed many rich conversations and answered a lot of questions. We thought we’d share some background here for our newest readers.

Who we are and how we are different?

EkoBuilt is a company committed to building homes design for the 21st-century. This means strikingly designed and deeply comfortable homes that are easily and cheaply heated and cooled with electricity.

Why do we do what we do?

It is our goal to get anyone and everyone in a quality passive house as affordably as possible. Our minimalist approach to design and investment in finding the right products/materials/systems have made this abundantly possible.

What exactly do we do?

First and foremost, we design and build low-energy homes that need no furnace or boiler.

How is this possible?

Super insulated, airtight and vapour tight construction.

What do we use for heat and air conditioning?

Even in a low energy home, heating and cooling systems are needed, but in a passive house, we just need a simple air to air source heat pump which is cheap to install and cheap to operate. These systems are not viable in conventional homes because the heating and cooling demands are too high.

On average, a passive house in winter with no sun and -30°C needs approximately 6 kWh of energy per day to keep house comfortably at 21 degrees. That’s amazing!

What about fresh air?

Even homes built to standard code require an HRV [heat recovery fresh air ventilator]. The difference is that conventional HRV units are 65% efficient, whereas passive house HRVs are 95% efficient.

The passive house unit also removes humidity which is important because these homes are vapour tight.

Find out more

If you’re new to EkoBuilt and our site, you can check out the Passive House and Coach House sections. The blog is also a deep source of detailed content on all of the above.

Ottawa Home and Garden Show 2017
Coach / Tiny Homes, EkoBuilt News & Happenings

Ottawa Home & Garden Show 2017

The 2017 Ottawa Home & Garden Show is coming this weekend and we’ll be there! Will you?

Ottawa Home & Garden Show, 23-26 March 2017, EY Centre, Ottawa

Show Features

  • More then 30,000 sq. ft. will be devoted to a stunning indoor garden display and you’ll have the chance to vote on the People’s Choice Award for best garden build 2017.
  • Ultimate Upcycle Challenge: Eat Your Veggies! is putting a fresh spin on the deep-rooted tradition of growing vegetables and herbs. Ottawa’s top influencers are sourcing a pre-loved furniture item from the Re-Store and turning it into a functional and trendy urban garden. Don’t miss your chance to bid on these one-of-a-kind pieces during a silent auction at the show. All proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity and help local families.
  • Experts in Landscaping and DIY will provide tips, guidance and inspiration.
  • Kick back and enjoy the show vibe at the new Perth Brewery Beer Gardens.
  • Coach House Alley will keep the spotlight on the new coach house by-laws in Ottawa and feature vendors like EkoBuilt who offer great coach house solutions.

Get Your Tickets

Save $3 per ticket by purchasing them online: Ottawa Home & Garden Show 2017 Tickets.

 

 

EkoBuilt's passive house solar engine
EkoBuilt News & Happenings, Solar Power

Your House Needs a Solar Engine, and We’ve Got It

The Eko Solar Engine - passive house infographic

Click to see full size illustration.

We now have the opportunity to take houses off the grid and power them with energy completely derived from the sun. Your home can work smarter and save you money all year round.

At EkoBuilt, we’ve invested a lot of time and know-how into developing the perfect solar engine for your home, and we’ve created a special infographic to easily convey how it works.

This simple, fully documented and proven complete building solution is completely unique and makes it extremely easy for anyone to achieve energy independence. Our solar engine uses the latest available technologies to make this not only possible but affordable – NOW!

The beauty of the system is that you can apply it in part or in its entirety, depending on your situation.

Want to learn more about the Eko Solar Engine?

Click here for full details.

Click here to get in touch with us to explore what you need for your home.

 

House with recessed LED lighting
Energy & Household Trends, Energy Efficiency

Why you should light your home with LEDs

Whether you’re building a new home or considering retrofitting the lighting in an existing home, if energy conservation matters to you there is only one type of light you should consider: LED lighting.

What are LEDs?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes. The following is an extract from How Stuff Works on How Light Emitting Diodes Work:

Basically, LEDs are just tiny light bulbs that fit easily into an electrical circuit. But unlike ordinary incandescent bulbs, they don’t have a filament that will burn out, and they don’t get especially hot. They are illuminated solely by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material, and they last just as long as a standard transistor. The lifespan of an LED surpasses the short life of an incandescent bulb by thousands of hours. Tiny LEDs are already replacing the tubes that light up LCD HDTVs to make dramatically thinner televisions.

The Recessed LEDs We Recommend

In the EkoModel Home, we used recessed LED lighting throughout the home.

The product we chose to use is from a company called Energy Efficient Lighting based in Markham, Ontario:

4 inch UltraThin LED Recessed Luminaire Round – UTLED-S9W-3KWH

These recessed lights only require 9W of energy and are rated for an amazing 50,000 hours. They retail for about $30 per unit.

For a list of agents carrying these lights, see Energy Efficient Lighting’s website.

Sustainable valentine's day gifts from LoveFresh and other Canadian retailers
Simply Sustainable

Put a little green in your Valentine’s Day

A sustainable Valentine’s Day is fun and easy. We’re sharing our Top 10 List of Canadian inspired eco-friendly Valentine’s gifts and ideas – have fun! If you have one to add to your list, we would love to hear from you!

Flowers

The CBC offers a great article on why plants should replace flowers this Valentine’s Day: For a more sustainable Valentine’s Day, ditch flowers for a plant.

Seed Cards from Botanical Paperworks

Valentine cards from Botanical PaperworksFlowers and cards are two top sellers every Valentine’s Day.

Botanical Paperworks ingeniously combines this sweet duo into one with their eco-friendly Valentines which are handmade from post-consumer waste cardstock and feature embedded seeds.

Drink Red & White from Connect

Southbrook Vineyards from southern Ontario is very serious about good wine and the environment. Connect is pro-green. Choose any Connect to show you don’t obsess about food-matching, but you do get serious about the environment. Connect White and Red are both made from organically-grown grapes. This Ontario vintner uses lightweight bottles, sourced locally, that are made from glass collected in the Ontario Bag-it-Back program. Available from most LCBO outlets.

Giddy YoYo Chocolate

Canadian-made, Fair-Trade vegan chocolate from Giddy Yo Yo.The flavours are so rich that you won’t mind sharing a bar with someone you love.

Matt & Nat Bag

Matt & Nat purses and bagsThis Montreal-based, vegan company has a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly design. Materials range from recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork to recycled bicycle tires. Bag linings only made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.

The beauty of each bag is undeniable. Matt & Nat believes you should Live Beautifully.

Natural Beauty Products

LOVEFRESH is a Toronto-based luxury line of fun and natural beauty products that will keep your skin glowing. Think body butters, sugar scrubs, lotions and more.

Canadian Diamonds

When you see the CanadaMark logo inscribed on a diamond, you can be sure that it is completely natural, and free of treatments that are sometimes used to “improve” a diamond.

Red & White Hemp Fabrics

Efforts IndustriesHemp clothing made in Canada by Effort Industries has supplied eco-friendly hemp fabrics (Made in Canada) to environmentally conscious businesses across North America since 1994.

Clothing lines for women, men and kids, as well as accessories, fabrics, and home decor options.

Massage Oils from Saje Natural Wellness

Saje natural wellness offers something for everyone. Ingredients are derived from safe and renewable resources and haven’t been tested on animals. Packaging is simple and made of recycled or recyclable materials. The healing power of touch is right at your fingertips with essential oil blends in an organic, jojoba oil base.

Candlelight dinner? Soy Candles!

Campy Candles are handpoured in small batches using Eco Soy wax and a blend of phthalate free fragrance oils.

Wishing you and yours a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Ottawa Coach House builder EkoBuilt
Coach / Tiny Homes, Energy & Household Trends

Build your Ottawa coach house

The Ottawa Home and Remodeling Show 2017 Coach House Village was a huge success and we were pleased to be a part. We were blown away with the amount of interest,  from the general public as well as the Ottawa Citizen, CBC and CTV (the latter both broadcast from the Coach House pavilion).

We are attracted to the new Ottawa Coach House regulations because intensification of the city is an amazing example of sustainability! We heard lots of great ideas from visitors to our booth who are exploring putting a coach house on their property for the following kinds of reasons:

  • Granny or in-law suite: save $2-3k per month moving from a $3000 – $4000 monthly payment (retirement home) to a $1000 / month coach house
  • Rental unit: homeowners could make 12 to 15% return on investment per year (no more stock market speculation!)
  • Starter home: alternative for kids moving out or starting families instead of moving into an expensive apartment or condo
  • Air B&B: for those homeowner entrepreneurs out there

Apart from urban Coach House interest, there were also a number of visitors interested in tiny house communities run like a condominium and with a shared access road. There were retirees looking to truly downsize and those just looking to start small.

Listening to all these ideas was very energizing and inspiring and we look forward to seeing where the Ottawa Coach House trend will take us.

Learn more

Add your name to the list if you’re interested in taking part in a planned Community

View EkoBuilt’s Coach House plans and materials packages

View EkoBuilt’s Coach House pricing

Coach / Tiny Homes, EkoBuilt News & Happenings

Coach House Comes to Ottawa

EkoBuilt is introducing a series of tiny house models that are perfectly suited to the new Ottawa Coach House regulations but which can be applied by anyone, anywhere.

What better opportunity than the upcoming Ottawa Home & Remodelling Show running January 19-22, 2017 at the EY Centre to find out more firsthand.

Ottawa Home and Remodelling Show 2017

Get $4 off the ticket price

Apply Ticket Code EKOBUILT and save $4 off the regular box office adult admissions.

We’ll see you there!

Additional Resources